National Eating Disorder (NED) awareness week: February 26th-March 3rd.
Did you know?… The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) states that nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, while millions more suffer from binge eating disorder. Eating disorders occurrence usually starts during puberty and progresses till late teen and early adult years. People suffering from eating disorders frequently have an intense fear of being fat or think that they are fat even if their weight is normal.
Eating becomes no longer enjoyable.
People with anorexia have an extreme fear of weight gain. The small amount of food they do eat becomes an obsession. They become very thin; weigh themselves at least once a day; count calories and portion food they eat. Some people with anorexia nervosa may also engage in binge-eating followed by extreme dieting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and/or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.
People with bulimia nervosa, unlike anorexia nervosa, usually maintain what is considered a healthy or normal weight, while some are slightly overweight. They usually eat a huge amount of food, such as pizza, cakes, cookies or ice creams that almost dissolve in your mouth without chewing. They only stop eating when they are too full to eat any more or run out of food. Then they try to get rid of the calories they ate by vomiting, exercise for hours or use laxatives to prevent weight gain.
People suffering from binge-eating disorder like bulimia consume large quantities of food, however the eating is not followed by purging, exercise, or fasting. Consequently, they often are over-weight or obese. They also experience guilt, shame, and distress about their binge-eating.
When it becomes problematic
These eating behaviors become harmful to the individuals and can have detrimental health problems. People with eating disorders suffer from severe malnutrition and may even die. The constant vomiting can damage the stomach and kidneys; cause tooth decay from the stomach acids you throw up; loss of essentials minerals such as potassium which can lead to heart problems and death. People with binge-eating disorder, who are obese, are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Here is a preview of THIN, a documentary based on the lives of four anorexic women undergoing treatment for eating disorders.
Many resources are available concerning prevention and treatment of eating disorders.Experts agree that binge eating treatment must tackle obesity and psychological problems.Also, families and friends can encourage people suffering from eating disorders to develop a new thinking about food, eating and body image.
During this week of NED and all year long, let’s combat it .Encourage others to love their bodies and to engage in healthy diet. Get involved! NEDA will light up the Empire State building on February 28th , this Tuesday, to raise awareness of eating disorders. Take part in this event.